Wednesday, March 31, 2021

"Fuzzy" by Bandicoot

 If a band describes their new song as "a deranged attempt at seduction which draws on 70s 'Top of the Pops', glam rock and memories of misguided adolescence", we are all ears. And that is without considering our significant other's suggestions that it could be a chapter in our biography. After listening to Bandicoot's "Fuzzy", we'd have to say that the band nailed both the song and the description -- our pride precludes a response to spousal derision of our persons. But back to "Fuzzy", this song chugs, slashes and swings in all the right places. It is the final song we will listen to tonight, and the first song we will listen to in the morning. Probably the second and third we will listen to in the morning as well.

"Fuzzy" will be out as a digital single on April 9 via Libertino Records. Bandicoot is a four-piece from Swansea, Wales, home of the Swansea Swans Football Club (where a friend of mine played this winter until he was injured).



Libertino Records

"Window" by Wy

"Window", the fourth single from the upcoming album Marriage LP by Malmo, Sweden's Wy, emphasizes the duo's focus on direct expressions of strong emotion. Their music is beautiful in sound and impeccably constructed, but it also is raw and revealing. "Window" may be our favorite so far from the album.

Wy are Ebba and Michel Gustafsson Agren. Marriage will be released May 7 via Rama Lama Records.



Various links for "Window"

Bandcamp link to pre-order Marriage

Aaron Frazer - Introducing Aaron Frazer

This is some fine, sweet soul music. Frazer has a clear, bright falsetto, and his vocals just flow. He's backed by a strong soul band - the bass in particular stands out, just moving so easily behind a great collection of guitar, piano, flute and drum/conga work. Frazer was part of Durand Jones & The Indications - co-lead singer and writer of some of their songs. On this record, Dan Auerbach put together a great group of musicians, from members of the Memphis Gang, featured on records by Dusty Springfield and Aretha Franklin, to members of the Dap-Tone family, and his influence is felt, too, in the way this record is built. Opening track is "You Don't Want to Be My Baby". Starts out slow, languid, and builds to a great, full sound like an old Stylistics or Delfonics track:


 And listen to how they build this song - "Bad News" - a light touch on the drums sets the pace, some excellent piano, layer on a flute, then a light guitar riff, and finally Frazer's falsetto - and you're off to the races. Just try to sit still:


Frazer proudly claims influences like Gil-Scott Heron and Curtis Mayfield and takes his work seriously. It shows - this record is tight and rewards repeated listening. Introducing... Aaron Frazer is out now on Dead Oceans, available on all the streaming sites, or you can order cd's and vinyl with download codes included at Bandcamp. This is going to be a big part of my summer playlist. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Tim Cohen - You Are Still Here

 An album by Tim Cohen, whether with his projects the Fresh & Onlys and Magic Trick, or -- as is the case today -- one of his solo albums, is a treat for the ears. His music represents that fine Bay Area tradition of garage and psychedelic arrangements with literate lyrics. On You are Still Here, Cohen's sixth solo album, the songwriting is focused and taut, and the melodies sparkle. A timeless set of music, it is a good listen now, would have been a good listen a decade ago, and it will be a good listen in 2031.

While we have embedded three fine songs below, we think you should venture to Bandcamp or your other favorite streaming source. And if you do, and you have limited time, make sure to cue up the album closer, "Dadaist Friend". It will be six minutes well-spent.

You Are Still Here is out now via Bobo Integral Records

Bandcamp for album

Twitter for The Fresh and Onlys

Monday, March 29, 2021

"Said Bernie" by Buffet Lunch

Having just had breakfast, we are already thinking about lunch. A Buffet Lunch, in fact. But we just can't help ourselves because "Said Bernie" is an exhilarating listen and a perfect jump start for our Monday. Buffet Lunch is a Glasgow/Edinburgh band with a fun, energetic and delightfully skewed vision of guitar pop. Comprised of Petty O'Bray, Neil Robinson, John Muir, and Luke Moran, they have an 11-track album titled The Power of Rocks due May 7 via Upset The Rhythm. If "Said Bernie" is a representative song, we are really going to like this album.

The Power of Rocks is available for pre-order.



Upset The Rhythm

April March, Olivia Jean - Palladium EP

From Third Man Records comes an EP as delightful as a spring day - six "versions" of a short number titled "Let's Go" or "Allons-y" - you see, it's put forth in both English and French, with slightly different versions for each track. The common elements are April March and Olivia Jean's bright, clear, totally confident vocals and great backbeats and guitars. Some tracks feature chicken-scratch soul guitar, some a heavier rock sound, and of course it would not be complete without a couple of surf guitar numbers. Short (18:00 all in), sweet and completely satisfying, you can get just the music at all your usual digital sources, or a "French flag" tricolored vinyl. Here we are, a week into spring, and you may have here your record of the summer:


Below is a link to the record's landing page at Third Man. I encourage you to check it out, and read the ladies' bios, which feature interactions with a host of figures including Bo Diddley, Brian Wilson, Ronnie Spector and of course Jack White, at whose studio these tracks were produced. 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Voom - Hello, Are You There?

This post comes with a special alert for readers who are indie pop collectors. Hello, Are You There? is considered by many to be one of those "must have" records for your music library. A 2006 release by New Zealand band Voom on Lil' Chief Records, it has been listed as one of the 100 essential New Zealand albums. The album is now available for the first time ever on vinyl via Flying Nun Records.

The main driving force of Voom was reformed stockbroker and prolific songwriter Buzz Moeller. His songcraft favored concise expressions but he embraced a multitude of styles. At times Voom songs featured the eclecticism, buzz, chug and energy of Seattle's The Young Fresh Fellows, at other times the sweet harmonies of The Beach Boys. But what was universal was a sincerity in the performance and the quality of the material. For this release the original album has been remastered by the band and augmented with additional material.

Time for some vinyl Voom in your lives!


Bandcamp for album


Sunny War - Simple Syrup


Simple Syrup, by LA-based artist Sunny War, is a masterpiece of folk rock. I’m just knocked out by her talent as a writer, player and arranger. Sometimes the guitar leads, sometimes the voice - the interplay is wonderful and haunting. An example of that is the track “A Love So True” - her voice and her guitar playing swing so nicely, you’ll find yourself swinging, nodding and tapping along:

There are more aggressive, electric tracks, like "Mama's Milk" - obviously Dylan-inspired. She straddles the folk/rock acoustic/electric divide nicely, as Bob did during the mid-60's run which included the iconic "Subterranean Homesick Blues". Speaking of which, check out this wonderful video, directed by Particle Kid, aka Micah Nelson:



 There’s an emotionally affecting track about a friend of hers, a young homeless veteran who calls her when he’s in jail; the title says it all: “Deployed and Destroyed”. This song really go to me. Again, her beautiful fingerpicked guitar under these lyrics: 

“You’d believe in angels if you heard him sing 
He’s got a gift only hardships bring 
He’s been called a man since he was a boy 
Fought for Uncle Sam and they left him 
Deployed destroyed”

What a writer! Check out the whole album -- she is definitely an artist to watch.

Friday, March 26, 2021

3 A.M. Again - Come Back From the Sun

 3 A.M. is a time of day. But musically via Come Back From the Sun it is a state of mind embodying sunny summer morning, a quiet coffee on the balcony, watching the children play. It is the aural expression of contentment and fulfillment. And it is absolutely beautiful.

We receive a large number of submissions, and sometimes we listen before we read the words that come with it. Such is the case with Come Back From the Sun. But after bathing in the wonderful acoustic renderings of 3 A.M., we turned to the accompanying documentation and discovered that the bliss was attributable to one Michael Telles, who formerly was known as Night Heron and received this rave feature from us last year: Night Heron. So we haven't been part of a discovery of a new artist after all, but rather the re-birth of an already cherished artist. We are quite happy with that.

The songs feature acoustic guitar jangle, understated vocals, and a number of instrumental tracks. Telles is equally adept at slow pastoral, midtempo pop/folk and instrumental songs. All are delightfully expressive but non-intrusive. Wake up in the morning and cue up this album. Your day will be immeasurably enhanced.

Come Back From the Sun is out now via JanglePopHub, which has proved to us time and again that they have impeccable taste in indie pop music. And while we often don't mention such things, we feel compelled to point out that the lovely album art is the work of Jodie Lowther of Karakasa Design.


Bandcamp for album

Throttle Elevator Music - Final Floor

Throttle Elevator Music is a collective featuring saxophonist Kamasi Washington and trumpeter Erik Jekabson along with longtime collaborators and songwriters Matt Montgomery and Gregory Howe. Howe is the guitar player and founder of Wide Hive, the label that released all TEM's music. Joining them are Mike Hughes on drums, Kasey Knudsen on alto saxophone, Ross Howe on fender guitar with Mike Blankenship on organ. Recorded between 2013-2020, the tracks on Final Floor have not been released previously and are a testament to the quality of work this group was doing together. These are not outtakes, but finished pieces, fully realized visions of the interplay between jazz, funk, surf rock, punk, reggae and motorik. It's exhilarating. I've been a big fan of Washington's work - both the affecting tone of his playing and the wide variety of musical types and collaborators. But as talented as these players are individually, the group here is even greater than the sum of its parts. There's plenty of tension, but also a lot of beauty, sometimes together - like the way the guitar underlies the soaring sax solo on "Ice Windows":


Sadly, Final means final - as in, Throttle Elevator Music is no longer a collective. Happily, a lot of these guys play together in the Wide Hive "house band" so keep an eye out for more from this label. And of course, Washington has continued to release music, including the soundtrack for the Netflix documentary profiling Michelle Obama, Becoming.

"Dödläge" by änsendå

The self-titled album by Swedish act änsendå is still three weeks away, but Nico Chavez - the man behind the moniker - has brightened our day with the sweet slice of pop titled "Dödläge". It is out now as a digital release via Rama Lama Records, which also will release the album.


Various links for "Dodlage"

Rama Lama Records


Guided by Voices - two new tracks from upcoming Earth Man Blues

I'm back, and so are they! Guided by Voices is in a groove, on to its first full-length release of 2021 (after 3 in 2020) and 33rd overall, Earth Man Blues. Described by the band as "a magical cinematic rock album, full of dramatic and surreal twists and turns. Lyrics and liner notes trace the growth of young Harold Admore Harold through a coming of age and a reckoning with darkness. Vivid scenes appear: snapshots of youth, fantastical nightmares, unknown worlds." So, Tommy meets Harold Pig, perhaps? Well, it already has two short, sweet and crackling tracks to recommend it. Here's "Trust Them Now", 2:20 of racing, chiming guitars and vocal melodies:


Here is "Free Agents", featuring the couplet "Life is like a slot machine / All goes up and down as in a dream" - which pretty well summarizes the experience of being a fan of GbV, except it is mostly up:


When somebody is this good at something, you don’t want them to stop, or even slow down. And they’re not, thankfully.

Out April 30 on Rockathon Records.

Guided by Voices website

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Wurld Series - What's Growing

All Wurld Series has to do to please us is to keep doing what the do on What's Growing, their second LP. Comprised of transplanted Brit Luke Towart, Kiwi Brian Feary and, as available, others, the Christchurch-based band crafts a thrilling collage of psychedelic folk-pop with a pastoral wash, '90 indie rock and '80s New Zealand indie pop. The songs are concise, fuzzing along brightly and then ending with your synapses still at level 10 and expecting more. But there is no disappointment because the next song provides a matching punch and the high continues until the last note. The lyrics are intelligent and inventive, and the performances top level. While the band's assumed influences seem easy to spot, the music they have created for What's Growing clearly is no imitation of forebears, but rather a strikingly entertaining distillation of various forms of psychedelic pop played through a fuzzy, hooky filter. And while there is plenty of squalling, buzzing guitars, some of the most special moments are the shorter, quieter songs. Highly recommended for your weekend, my friends. 

The album is out now via Meritorio Records (Europe/USA), Osborne Again (Australia) and Melted Ice Cream (New Zealand/Rest of the world).


Bandcamp for What's Growing

Osborne Again Music

Meritorio Records

Melted Ice Cream Records

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

"Off Grid" by Holiday Ghosts

 In 2017 (link) and again in 2019 (link) we spent a considerable portion of our digital ink budget (minus the portion seconded to our beverage purchase budget) extolling the virtues of English band Holiday Ghosts. We recently were wondering whether the band was still together and writing music when we discovered the video for "Off Grid" -- a spanking new tune from the Falmouth-based artists. The tune chugs and bounces like a terrific soundtrack for your first springtime drive with the windows down while male/female vocals spin the tale. And the happiest news is that the band's next album North Street Air will be out May 21 via Fat Cat Records.

The core of Holiday Ghosts is Katja Rackin and Sam Stacpoole. For the new album, they have recruited former band member Charles Murphy and others.


Fat Cat Records page for North Street Air

Real Numbers - Brighter Then

 Brighter Then by Minneapolis band Real Numbers is nothing less than jangle pop perfection, pleasantly recalling veins of C86 and the heyday of Sarah Records. The melodies are sweet and upbeat, the hooks plentiful, the vocals are gentle with a melancholy wash, and of course, the guitars jangle and chime. Repeated listenings reveal songs carefully constructed and delightfully detailed and, if our experience is representative, you feel a sense of loss when you stop playing the record. However, we have discovered a work-around. We don't stop playing the record.

Real Numbers is a five-piece consisting of Eli Hansen, Ian Nygaard, James Blackfield, Cameron Soojian, and Sophie Durbin. Brighter Then is out now via Slumberland Records in North America and Meritorio Records in Europe.


Bandcamp for EP

Various relevant links

Sunday, March 21, 2021

The Yellow Melodies - Sunshine Pop 3

 Rafa Skam and his colleagues in Spanish band The Yellow Melodies seem to have been working overtime to bring us sunshine over the past year. They released Sunshine Pop EP1 last April. December brought Sunshine Pop EP2. And now we have Sunshine Pop EP3. As with its preceding siblings, the elements of Sunshine Pop EP3 are the classic and uncomplicated guitars, keys, rhythm section, harmonies, melodies and hooks. But The Yellow Melodies combine them with skill and sincerity that makes for music that is affecting and pleasurable. Yes, the lyrics for three of the five tracks are in Spanish, but we think that sunshine is a universal language.




Bandcamp for EP3

"Tarmac" by Locked Hands

Via his project Locked Hands, Edinburgh's Sean Ormsby has proved a master at conveying unease or anger in his music without sacrificing rhythm and melody. And "Tarmac", his latest single is a perfect example. Although Sean's various projects lean towards electronica, "Tarmac" is more guitar-oriented in the past. Very good stuff, and because Sean is a generous guy, it is a free download on Bandcamp.

"Tarmac" is released via Sean' Errant Media label.

Soundcloud (for free download)

Twitter (Locked Hands)

Twitter (Errant Media)

Facebook (Errant Media)

Saturday, March 20, 2021

"Second Time" by Red Sleeping Beauty, featuring Mary Wyer of Even As We Speak

Of course, Sweden's Red Sleeping Beauty needs no embellishment to be a 'must listen' -- they always hit perfection on the synth pop scale. But we must admit that adding Mary Wyer of Aussie pop legends Even As We Speak is a stroke of genius. Born of the failure of a plan to have Mary join the band on stage at the Cologne Popfest, which was derailed by the pandemic, the alternative was to have Mary provide vocals for "Second Time, Red Sleeping Beauty's new single. We must say that for those of us who, for various reasons, did not intend to attend the aforementioned Popfest, this is a clear win. As for "Second Time", the song is an absolute triumph. The synths and beats recall the days in the '80s when we twirled on the dance floor, while Mary's vocals bridge to more delicate indie pop tunes. We really need to go to bed, but this track is so good that we are splashing in a bit more of the 'water of life' in the glass and pressing replay a few more times.

The song is a digital single via Matinee Recordings. It also will be included in the upcoming album by Red Sleeping Beauty.



Matinee Recordings page for single

Thursday, March 18, 2021

"Gutters of Love" by Quivers


"From Tasmania to Melbourne to conquering the indie pop world" (from a brief unauthorized history of Quivers). OK, that may be getting ahead of things a bit. But there is no doubt that Quivers is the sort of jangling indie pop generators that this world needs much more of. And we probably would have been able to see them tour if not for that nasty virus that we heard has been going around. However, the band has used their time wisely an will be releasing new album Golden Doubt on June 11. And if opening track "Gutters of Love" is representative, we are in for a treat in June. A sunny and rousing anthem good vibes, it has lead to us declaring the weekend a few days early. Sorry boss, 'we have the Quivers'.

Quivers are Sam Nicholson, Bella Quinlan, Michael Panton, and Holly Thomas. Golden Doubt will be released via Spunk Records (Australia/NZ), Bobo Integral (Europe), and Ba Da Bing (North America/UK).



Various links for "Gutters of Love"

Various links to pre-order Golden Doubt

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Cool Ghouls - At George's Zoo


Long time favorites of this blog, San Francisco's Cool Ghouls have rightfully been known as an ace garage and psychedelic pop band. However, the truth is that they have always been much more. From their lyricism to their sense of humor to the sweet harmonies supplied by multiple vocalists, the Cool Ghouls are a top shelf musical entertainment package. And just in case anyone in the indie music world needs more evidence, their new album At George's Zoo is the band's Swiss Army Knife album. Yes, there is garage rock and psychedelic pop. Yes, there are harmonies. But there also are horns and arrangements that could put them on a late '60s - early '70s soul stage. There are strings to embellish baroque pop songs, and folky songs to slow the pace and change the vibe.

But the story here isn't the scope of the music, it is about the consummate skill in execution and conviction in the performance. At George's Zoo isn't a band playing at being a surf pop band, a folk band, a psychedelic band, a garage band, it is a band that really is all of those. That breadth is rare, and should be treasured. The members of Cool Ghouls may be at the stage of life where it isn't possible to play numerous shows or tour, but we certainly hope they can find time to continue to make albums like this. And it certainly is one of our top albums of this young year.

Cool Ghouls are Pat McDonald, Ryan Wong, Pat Thomas, and Alex Fleshman. At George's Zoo will be out March 12 via Empty Cellar (US) and Melodic Records (UK).



Bandcamp At Georges Zoo

Black Twig - Was Not Looking For Magic


When we heard the first two singles from the album, we knew that Was Not Looking For Magic by Finland's Black Twig would be a special record. After all, "Black Cat" (link here) is one of the top songs for the year, sounding like it could have been undeservedly lost in the shuffle in a recording session in Glasgow for Teenage Fanclub, or perhaps in Dunedin for The Chills. "Devils Please Be Gone" (link here) swaggers effortless between blues rock and shimmering indie pop. Yet, the reality is that the full album surpasses our expectations. A band that first caught our attention for its appealing version of drone pop and folk rock -- reminding us at times of Velvet Underground, Black Rebel Motorcycle and The Jesus and Mary Chain -- now boasts a broad arsenal of shoegaze, jangle pop, folk, psychedelic and guitar pop. New influences supplement the old, with current comparisons tending towards Teenage Fanclub and Sonic Youth. Cue up Was Not Looking For Magic and you are treated to the shoegaze of "New Moon", the jangle pop of "Outdoor Blues" and instrumental "Puuhastelu", the moodier guitar pop of "Typical Winters Day" and "Walking Up A Hill", and the robust album closer "You Never Were Mine".  And album opener "I Was Not Looking For Magic" is a perfect bookend companion for showcase track "Black Cat".

Black Twig are Aki Pohjankyrö, Rasmus Rantanen, Kaarlo Stauffer, Janne Vainikainen. Was Not Looking For Magic is out now via Helsinki's Soliti music.




Bandcamp for Was Not Looking For Magic

Friday, March 12, 2021

"That Picture of Me" by Wy

 We begin our music Friday with another single from the upcoming album by Malmo, Sweden duo Wy. "That Picture of Me" is a high-energy garage pop banger that we find to be a perfect boost for the final work day of the week. Stream it or watch the video below.

Marriage will be released May 7 via Rama Lama Records.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

"Classical Antiquity Sunsets" by Dom & The Wizards

And we now have the second single from the upcoming album by Dom & The Wizards. Dom Trimboli's speak-sing spins a tale over a bouncing melody and rubbery rhythm. We expect a psychedelic trip through a weird and sinister world, and we know that we will get it and love it.

The Australian Cyclone Intensity Scale will be out April 2 via Tenth Court Records (US orders will be fulfilled by The Business, located in Anacortes, Washington).

Bandcamp for "Classical Antiquity Sunsets"

Links for "Classical Antiquity Sunsets"

Bandcamp for The Australian Cyclone Intensity Scale

Label page for pre-order of vinyl format of album

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Jane Weaver - Flock

 Liverpool's Jane Weaver is musically restless and delightfully adventurous. Her discography includes psychedelia, synth pop, dream pop, folk, and grunge. Adding a new page to her musical adventure book, her new album Flock re-imagines pop in Jane Weaver's world. That means pop on a cosmic scale, with electronic, dance, psychedelic elements that expand and embellish the pop core of the songs without ever detracting from it. She deconstructs, reconstructs, blends and decorates, living up to the origins of her surname by weaving it all together as if it was always meant to be.

Ultimately, we think Flock is an album that will please pop fans and music fans who think that they don't like pop. That is a big category, but this album deserves a big audience. It is out now via Fire Records.




Bandcamp for Flock

Sunday, March 7, 2021

"Like Butterflies" and "A Tall Tale" by Union of Knives

This week Scottish electronic act Union of Knives shared two new songs, "Like Butterflies" and "A Tall Tale", featuring Ladytron's Helen Marnie. Both songs also have been released with accompanying videos, with the video for "Like Butterflies" featuring an interpretative dance by Alexandra Tsiapi. The two songs can bookend your evening with different approaches to fill the dance floor. Both songs are taken from their new album Endless From The Start -- their first in 14 years -- which is out on either May 31 or June 4 (we have differing information) via Disco Piñata. Few bands can combine dance, soul, electronic and industrial like this trio, and we are thrilled with the promise of their return.

Union of Knives are Chris Gordon, Ant Thomaz (Dope Sick Fly), and Peter Kelly (of The Kills and Ladytron).

Corvair - Corvair

Sometimes guys just have to rock, and we almost slept on this appropriate soundtrack for doing so. Corvair is a trio based in Portland, Oregon, formed by Pacific Northwest rock veteran Brian Naubert and Heather Larimer (ex Eux Autres and others). The music on their self-titled debut album is high-energy, melodic, and muscular. Listening to it reminds us of finding one of those rare good radio stations because the songs have elements of '70s - '90s rock. The album is a good set of songs, and at its best it prompts head nodding, fist pumping and perhaps a bit of moving the feet. All in all, a good dose of energy for our Sunday.

Corvair are Brian Naubert (guitars/bass/keys/percussion), Heather Larimer (vocals/keys/percussion), and Eric Eagle (drums). Corvair is out now via Paper Walls in the US and WIAIWYA in the UK.




Corvair's Bandcamp link

wiaiwya's Bandcamp link

Various links for album

Saturday, March 6, 2021

"Somewhere New" by Melby

Swedish quartet Melby has proven their chops with strong records based on pop and folk elements. But one of the band's best qualities is their willingness to expand their sound into new territory. This week brought us "Somewhere New". Thrillingly dynamic and embellished with psychedelic flourishes, it displays the resolve and talent of a band with ambition and a high ceiling.

Melby are Matilda Wiezell (vocals), Are Engen Steinsholm (back-up vocals, guitar), David Jehrlander (bass) and Teo Jernkvist (drums). "Somewhere New" is out now via Stockholm's Rama Lama Records.




Various links for "Somewhere New"

Thursday, March 4, 2021

"Don't Understand the Shorthand" by Mope City

 One of our highlights this week was the release of "Don't Understand the Shorthand", the second single taken from the upcoming album by Marrickville, Australia's Mope City. The band is centered around Matthew Neville & Amaya Lang, who are joined for this record by Shaun Donovan (drums) and Nick Johnson (bass). We would characterize the band's music as a downer indie pop with flashes of distortion. There are similarities to Galaxie 500 and Low, but Mope City's songs are distinctively theirs and we find them quite addictive.

The album is titled Within The Walls, and will be out April 30 via Tenth Court.


Various links for single

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

"Flower Girl" by Lionel Boy

 Here is a smooth late night treat: The bass-heavy and ultra-coo. "Flower Girl" by Hawaii native, Long Beach resident Lionel Deguzman, aka Lionel Boy. It is the kind of song that justifies the replay button.

The single is out now via Innovative Leisure.




Various links for "Flower Girl"

"Serotonin" by Girl In Red

 Winter is edging away up here, and we are craving serotonin. And we have a double dose today because the skis are sunny and we have the new and appropriately-named single by Norway's Girl In Red.

Girl In Red is Oslo, Norway-based Marie Ulven. She wrote "Serotonin" and all of the other songs on her debut album, If I Could Make It Go Quiet. The album is due April 30th via AWAL.




Various links for "Serotonin"

Various links to order album

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Nightshift - Zoe

We apologize to those who rely on us for a bit of diversion when trying to work from home, but we took a few days off for a road trip. So we now will attempt to make amends by presenting one of our contenders for top albums of 2021. Zoe is the pandemic lockdown creation of Nightshift, an assembly of fine songwriters and performers from various Glasgow bands (some of which we have featured here in the past). The members assembled the songs in their own homes, adding their parts and sending the files on to other members. Despite that unusual approach, the result is a post-punk masterpiece -- smooth, cohesive, and consistently intriguing and even surprising.

Very often, even with a good album, some aspects stand out more than others. Sometimes it is the rhythms, sometimes the vocals, sometimes the melodies or guitars. However, in the hands of Nightshift, everything stands out. admittedly, the rhythms hit us first. They are standout earworms all by themselves, and they have a "sticky" quality that prompted a feeling of physical loss when the last song finished. However, the vocals pull you in like an emotional tractor beam and the guitars and keys, while spare, are perfect accents. I particular, the rhythms and vocals combine to create a hypnotic effect. This is post-punk with hear, soul, intelligence and intensity, and a bit of humor. We can't recommend it enough.  

Nightshift are David Capbell, Andrew Doig, Eothen Stearn, Chris White, and Georgia Harris. Zoe is out now in digital, vinyl and CD formats via Trouble In Mind Records.